Monroe, Fire Chief, retires, Jimmie Bryant, Mayo, Mayor - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

Monroe Fire Chief retires, but he isn't going too far

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MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - The City of Monroe is getting ready to say good-bye to its fire chief of almost fifteen years.

Dozens of fire fighters lined the Monroe City Council Chambers to hear Monroe Fire Chief Jimmie Bryant announce his retirement.

Bryant says, "when I see my people perform the way they perform without any assistance or guidance from me; I felt as though I had done my job. At that point I said to myself they don't need me anymore."

Bryant was brought to tears as he remembered some of his favorite memories from 32 years of fire service. He's won several awards for fire fighter of the year in Monroe and Shreveport.

He says, "all of that probably does not compare to not having a single fire fighter seriously injured or killed on my watch."

Although Bryant is retiring he's not done with the city just yet. He'll be moving his office to city hall to become the chief operating officer for the City of Monroe.

Monroe Mayor, Jamie Mayo, says "he will be working with the department heads helping them to plan short term and long term. We will be working on operational enhancements trying to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the City of Monroe."

Mayo says the position has been in the budget for two years, but it's never been filled.

Bryant says he hopes his experience as a first responder will help.

He says, "it does require you to think fast on your feet, it also requires you to turn into a problem solver, or a fixer so to speak. So I'm hoping my background and my experience in fixing things helps me more than anything else."

Bryant hopes the success he had while being chief of the fire department will spread to his new chief role in the city.

The next step for finding a replacement for Bryant will be naming an interim chief.

The fire chief is a civil service position appointed by Mayor Mayo.

Mayo will name an interim chief before march first, when Bryant retires.

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